Sen. Larkin faces previous challenger
Orange County Democrat Christopher Eachus is trying for the second time to unseat the longtime incumbent.
Republican William Larkin Jr. is seeking a 14th twoyear term in the state Senate and is being challenged in the Nov. 8 election by Orange County Legislator Christopher Eachus.
This is the second time in the past three elections that Eachus has run against Larkin in the 39th Senate District. Larkin defeated him in 2012.
The district includes the Ulster County towns of Plattekill and Marlborough, central and eastern Orange County and the northern tip of Rockland County.
Eachus, 61, of 65 Clancy Ave., New Windsor, has been an Orange County legislator since 2006 and is in the second year of a third four-year term.
Eachus has lived in the area for 40 years, and he and his wife, Kimberly, have four children. He graduated from Seaford High School in 1973, earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from SUNY Cortland in 1977 and received a master’s degree in elementary education from SUNY New Paltz in 1992.
He is a retired high school physics teacher.
Eachus is commander of the Sons of the American Legion Post 1796 and is a member of Salvation Army advisory board in Newburgh, the National Eagle Scout Association and the Greater Newburgh Optimist Club.
Eachus would like the state to keep in place its cap on property tax levy increases but said it should be accompanied by state funding for mandated expenses for municipalities and school districts.
He also wants to “get rid of the tax exemption for millionaires for yachts and planes ... so they pay their fair share of sales tax.”
Also, “we need Medicaid relief,” Eachus said. “The state needs to fund that fully and take the burden off of the counties.”
Eachus would also like the state to combine political primaries to reduce election costs for municipalities.
“This year we just had three primaries, and all of those primaries should be on the same day,” he said. “We had it for the president, we had it for the congressional [seats], and then state and local.”
Eachus said ending corruption in Albany should be approached with several types of reform.
“We can address that through term limits, stopping double dipping [salaries and a pension] ... and limiting outside income,” he said.
Eachus also favors reforming the Common Core education standards.
“The first thing to move the ball forward is that you get all the stakeholders involved, which we’re not,” he said. “You get the students involved because the students have wonderful answers; you get the teachers involved; you get the parents involved, as well as the administration as well as the Board of Regents. “You let educators make educated decisions.”
Eachus also said state lawmakers need to approve the Child Victim Act to keep abusers from escaping the consequences of their actions.
“I would vote for this,” he said. “It is to extend the statute of limitations for victims to report the abuse. One out of five children have been sexually abused, and yet 90 percent of all the predators remain out on the street. Right now, it (the statute of limitations) is ... five years, and I would extend it as long as I could possibly get it.”
Larkin, 88, of 181 Bayview Avenue, Cornwall-onHudson, has been a state senator since January 1991 and was an assemblyman from January 1979 through December 1990. He was town of New Windsor supervisor in 1976 and 1977.
Larkin has lived locally since 1967. He and his wife, Patricia, have eight children.
Larkin graduated from LaSalle High School in 1944 and served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1967.
Larkin’s campaign said the senator would not participate in a telephone interview for this story.
When he announced his re-election bid in the spring, Larkin listed among his legislative accomplishments the co-founding the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, leading the effort to create the Purple Heart Forever postage stamp, securing more than $30 million for construction of SUNY Orange’s Newburgh campus and helping to enact a law that requires all birthing facilities to screen newborn babies for congenital heart defects.
Christopher Eachus, left, and state Sen. William Larkin